Posted Thursday, January 18, 2007 10:37 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Ralph Stricker, owner of Stricker's Grove Amusement Park in Crosby Township, Ohio, died Friday at his home here after a long illness. He was 79. In 1969, he moved it from its original location in Mount Healthy to its current site on Hamilton-Cleves Road. He built two of the roller coasters - the Tornado and the Teddy Bear - himself, and was the only private individual in the United States to build his own roller coasters. He loved his roller coasters, but didn't ride them.
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But there is a significant difference between the Blue Flash (or, for that matter, the Termite and the Lily Street Lightning) and the Tornado and Teddy Bear.
The Tornado and Teddy Bear were constructed to amusement park specifications, licensed by the local Authority Having Jurisdiction, and opened to the public.
I still think it's a kind of an iffy claim, though...how is this significantly different from Knoebels building the Twister (and Flying Turns) in-house, or for that matter, Six Flags building Viper.
Ralph Stricker will be remembered for building the Tornado and the Teddy Bear. That's quite an achievement, and I don't want to take anything away from that. But it really is no different from any other park building such a ride "in-house".
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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